Tag Archives: Cistercian

Paul Quenon: man, Trappist, semi-hermit, poet

Br Paul Quenon.jpgBrother Paul Quenon, OCSO, has been a monk for 52 years. That is, he’s been trying to live in God and by learning to deepen one’s capacity to love in community; that’s how he describes life as a Trappist monk. A one-time spiritual son of Father Louis (Thomas Merton), Brother Paul lives a contemplative life –that is, on the margins of society but at the center of the Church. His witness is a life of proclaiming the beauty of Christ from an abbey of the Strict Observance of Cistercians. Religion and Ethics Newsweekly‘s Judy Valente interviewed Brother Paul recently at his home, the Abbey of Gethsemani.

The interview can be viewed here.
Brother Paul continues his conversation with some extra questions and answers noted here. Here he talks about Father M. Louis — Thomas Merton: his personality and life, his call, the spirituality he lived and taught, and the mystery of what he sought.

Mauro Lepori: “…Only by re-proposing the fascination of the Mystery of Christ” does one overcome difficulties

Lepori 2010.jpgThe newly elected Abbot General of the Order of Cistercians, Abbot Mauro-Giuseppi Lepori, OCist, has been a part of the lay ecclesial Movement, Communion and Liberation for many years.

In the February issue of Traces, Abbot Mauro was interviewed by Davide Perillo in an article titled, “Called to Live for Him.” Here Abbot Mauro talks about his election as Abbot General of the Order of Cistercians, his vocation, Jesus Christ, community life, individualism life within the Movement of Communion and Liberation, St Benedict, and more. I recommend the article.
A previous post on Abbot Mauro-Giuseppi can be read here.

Saint Robert of Molesme

St Robert of Molesme welcomes Bernard.jpgApril 17, 2011 marks the 900th anniversary of the
death of St. Robert of Molesme, which, this year, is Palm Sunday. This anniversary of death of Saint Robert coincides with the historic beginning of the Cistercians with Robert’s arrival with his group of monks first arrived at
Cîteaux on Palm Sunday (March 21, 1098). 
Along with Saints Alberic and Stephen, Saint Robert is one of the founders of Cîteaux.

The text of the Life of Saint Robert
is available here
You’ll find the rather lengthy article referred to at: Life of St.
Robert of Molesme.
A shorter version of Saint Robert’s life can be
found on Wikipedia.

James Martin reviews “Of Gods and Men”

The culture editor at America Magazine Jesuit Father James Martin, reviews the stunning movie “Of Gods and Men” on Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. His comments are worth hearing.

Here is a previous post on “Of Gods and Men” with a few links to other pages including Prior Christian de Cherge’s testament.

80 years of monastic profession: the witness of a lifetime

Permanent commitment is an awesome gesture. It is, however, becoming a thing of the past these days. I remember a few years ago
when my parents were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary and one of my
mother’s clients said to her: “I can’t believe you’ve been married to the same
man for this long.” I was taken aback by the statement. In my mind what else would you do but be faithful to your vows. Of course this woman is on her second marriage and from all
reports pretty self-absorbed. There was a time when you entered into a “life
commitment” by vows and you did what they indicated: live them forever, unto death is there parting. Times have changed: prenuptials are “in” and convenience has replaced permanency. Have we become too fickle? Just
recently an event in Rome gave me hope: Father Angelo’s 80 years as a Trappist
monk of the Abbey of Tre Fontane. Imagine 80 years do anything! Imagine living your monastic profession in the place where Saint Paul was martyred! Saint Paul’s head bounced three times. Hence three fountains of water sprung up.

Tre fontane di S. Paolo.jpg

Father Angelo (Archangelo Buccitti in
history), just celebrated his 94th birthday on March 3. Bishop Paolo
Schiavon, a long-time friend of the community offered Mass for Father Angelo’s

Father Angelo’s monastic journey included entry at Frattochie abbey at 14 years of age, his journey to solemn profession, ordination to the
priesthood, time as chaplain for the Trappistine nuns at Vitorchiano, his election
as abbot of Tre Fontane and his ten years in that capacity. All of Father
Angelo’s life can be seen as a homage, a testament to grace and grace’s living through his deep humanity known through fraternal
charity, humility and faithfulness to God’s call. 

Father Angelo said: “The
Lord does not count the number of one’s years, but weighs their quality” and “A
man is never taller than when he is on his knees before his Lord.”

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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